Monday, October 20, 2014

Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies by Janis Thornton Interview & Giveaway

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Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies
by Janis Thornton

I liked Dust Bunnies & Dead Bodies because it was a quirky and fun small town mystery… This mystery had a good story and very interesting plot twists, which made it an enjoyable read.
This first is a new series and sure to hit your funny spot. The characters are fun and likeable and the story line is captivating and moving.
~Shelley’s Book Case
Thornton takes the reader down a number of paths to find the answers to these and other questions as the body count rises in a small town. Not always believable-this is fiction after all-this was a fun read.
~Darla King Series
DustBunniesDeadBodies4Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies
(An Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery Book 1)

Publisher: Cup of Tea Books,
An Imprint of PageSpring Publishing (October 15, 2014)
E-Book File Size: 3659 KB
Print Length: 286 pages
When it comes to murder, forget the butler . . . it’s the housekeeper who knows where the bodies are buried.
Small-town newspaper editor Crystal Cropper never takes “no” for an answer, hates to be called a “senior citizen,” and uses the power of her pen to expose corruption in her small town.
Cleaning lady Gertie has a knack for sweeping skeletons out of closets—which makes her one of Crystal’s best informants. But Gertie’s latest hot tip has landed her in a coma, courtesy of an unknown assailant.
Now Crystal must follow the trail of dirt and gossip right to the doorsteps of several prominent local families to solve a decade-old murder and the disappearance of a young boy . . .

Janis author photo2
About This Author
Janis Thornton is a freelance writer, personal historian, and award-winning journalist. She is the author of two local history books, Images of America: Tipton County andImages of America: Frankfort. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, the Indiana Writers Center, Association of Personal Historians, and the Midwest Writers Workshop Planning Committee. She lives in a small Indiana town not unlike Elmwood. Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is her debut cozy mystery.


Where are you from?
I am a native Hoosier. Home is Tipton, Indiana, but I haven’t always lived here. After high school, I relocated to Columbus, Ohio, and later moved to Los Angeles. In 1993, I returned to Indiana with my son, who was 4 then, so he could grow up here and get the same solid, Hoosier upbringing I enjoyed.

Tell us your latest news.
Well… I have a cozy mystery novel coming out this month. It’s my first published novel, and I’m pretty excited about it. After that, any other news pales in comparison.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as a kid and was 12 when a national anthology featuring poetry by junior high students published the poem I wrote about my dog. I was always writing little stories and poems, but they were primarily for my eyes only. However, that changed in the late 1980s, when I signed up for my first fiction-writing class and wow … a whole new world opened up for me. I began producing longer pieces with purpose, as I learned techniques, what worked, and what didn’t, all while I was getting feedback. I began to trust that if I could imagine a scene or a story, I could write it. It was an exciting discovery process that has never stopped.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For years, it felt pretentious to tell people I was a writer. Even though I had been writing marketing materials and news stories for years, I thought “writer” was a term reserved for published authors. I learned differently about 2002, while I was at the Barnes and Noble in Carmel, Indiana, for a reading and signing by best-selling author Elizabeth Berg. During the Q&A, a young woman next to me asked Elizabeth if there was a standard that must be met to legitimately call herself writer. Elizabeth asked her, “Do you write”? The young woman responded that she kept a daily journal but had no intention of having it published. “Doesn’t matter,” Elizabeth said. “If you write, you’re a writer.” That little exchange was a giant “Ah-ha!” for me because it was the exact moment I realized it was okay to call myself a writer. I’ve considered myself a writer ever since.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The nugget of inspiration for my first book was a murder that took place in my hometown almost 50 years ago and, to this day, remains unsolved. The victim was one of my high school classmates, and I, like everyone who knew her, couldn’t stop wondering what happened. Twenty years ago, I fictionalized the story to create a plausible explanation and ending. Although that book was never published, writing it was an exercise that not only provided me the closure I needed for the case, it gave me the confidence to write a second novel … the one that would become my first published cozy mystery, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies.

Do you have a specific writing style?
As I write, I’m not consciously thinking about a particular style, but I do try to establish and maintain an intimate connection between protagonist Crystal Cropper and the reader. I think of it as a kind of verbal wink, if you will. To accomplish that, I attempt to keep the narrative voice conversational, warm, friendly, engaging, and upbeat. It was my intent to present Crystal as an honest, worldly storyteller who pulls few punches, while she lets the wordplay, corn, sarcasm, barbs, and slapstick rip through most situations, no holds barred. If I had to define my writing style, I would say it is simply an extension of my own voice. I’ve been reserved, quiet, and a little shy my whole life, so what’s fun is using Crystal as the front for the extroverted side of my personality that’s dying to get out.

How did you come up with the title?
Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies was the stroke of genius of the editorial team at PageSpring Publishing. Then they repurposed my original title, Elmwood Confidential, as an umbrella name for the coming series featuring Crystal Cropper and her Elmwood cohorts.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. The message is that crime does not go unpunished, even after 20 years, when a skillful sleuth gets a whiff of the perpetrators’ trail.

What would you like my readers to know?
I would like your readers to know that I am grateful for this opportunity to tell them a bit about myself and my novel. As you know, Dust Bunnies and Dead Bodies is my debut novel. Getting it into print and into readers’ hands is a dream come true, and I am having the time of my life. Thank you!

Author Links
Website and
New Facebook Author Page:
Purchase Link:

Tour Participants
October 15 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 16 – Books-n-Kisses – Review
October 17 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post
October 18 – Darla King Series – Review
October 19 – Psychotic State Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post
October 20 – deal sharing aunt – Interview
October 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Guest Post
October 22 – Traci Andrighetti’s blog – Review
October 23 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
October 24 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
October 25 – off
October 26 – off
October 27 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – Guest Post
October 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
October 29 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – Review
October 30 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post

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  1. This was interesting. I love the part about your voice and how the title of the book and the series was developed.